It’s been raining a lot lately here in Los Angeles. I know folks in other parts of the country and world have been experiencing far more extreme weather, but this rain is our only winter weather. And I love it. I love the change. I love the romance of it. I love the permission to slow down and sometimes not do much of anything. And the opposite, I love being out and about in it (Mostly walking and running since being in a car around a bunch of people who don’t have the first clue of how to drive in precipitation is freaking scary.). I don’t know how long it’d have to rain before I get sick of it.
Since it never rains enough for me to get sick of it, I’ve been making it a priority to really soak it in while it lasts. Pun intended (I also love dad jokes.).
This intention has been great for my mindfulness practice. I know I said I’m loving the rain but it’s also easy to bemoan weather when it’s inconvenient for us. It rains when we have a picnic-or wedding-planned. It’s hot as heck when we have to run a race. It snows when we have to catch a flight. But it’s there whether we want it or not. We forget that we enjoy the rain when there’s a drought and the heat when it’s below zero and snow when we want to ski. Anyway, we don’t have the power to control it, as much as we may try. So there’s really nothing left to do other than experience it for what it is.
In fact, the rain hasn’t been altogether convenient as it’s exposed a leak in our roof (I am grateful to find that out.). Fingers have been crossed that the ceiling doesn’t cave in before the roofer can get to it. In the meantime, since we have no business trying to fix a roof or ceiling and can’t force anyone to get her any quicker (I’m sure many in LA are realizing they need their roofs patched. Or replaced.), all there is to do is mindfully experience the rain. Feel free to mix it up with other weather too.
I listen to it.
The pitter patter or pounding on the roof depending on how much is falling at a time. The tapping on the windows. The thunder that was a special surprise the other day (I’m a weirdo who is obsessed with storms and miss that part of the midwest almost as much as my family and friends.). The sound of cars splashing through the puddles. There’s a sense of calm that accompanies the sound of rain.
I feel it.
The rain hasn’t kept me from running in it. Or walking in it. I could be upset that I’m getting wet, but instead I relish the sensation of water droplets splashing on my face, arms, and the rest of my body. I imagine it a bit as a soul cleansing. I don’t particularly enjoy the weighted feeling of water absorbed into my clothing, but instead of focusing on that complaint I simply notice that weighted feeling that I don’t experience often.
I watch it.
It’s quite hypnotizing and as calming as it sounds with its own rhythm and pattern. I also notice how the plant life becomes more and more green with each downpour. How everything seems to come to life a bit more.
I smell it.
I have a terrible sense of smell so I don’t know that I can distinguish all of the scents it brings with it. But there is a freshness to its cleanse. And the plants and flowers all seem to be a bit sweeter after the rain.
I taste it.
I briefly let it fall onto my tongue and lips. I say briefly because I still have hesitation from constant warnings of acid rain as a child. I’m still not certain how clean the rain is but as I’m generally quite healthy, I’m not worrying about a few drops.
The more I mindfully experience the rain, the more gratitude I feel for it. Of course, there’s the relief all of us in southern California feel knowing how much we need this rain. But it’s more than that. It’s the total realization of how much water contributes to life. How it heals and grows. How it calms and slows me down. I read more. I nap a bit (Not something I’m great at.). I write. I paint. I craft. It inspires me to embrace my inner homebody. I cook and bake such deliciousness in the rain.
It also helps me appreciate the sun even more, which can be easy to take for granted here. But when it comes back out, I’m transported back to that elation I felt every spring growing up in a much colder, gray climate.
I get that it can be challenging sometimes. Especially if you live somewhere that seems to have more rain than shine. But we have choices in life. You could move. Or you could be mindful and appreciate what you have when you have it. I really miss the green landscape that comes along with living in a wetter climate. I miss the storms as I mentioned before. I miss snow at Christmas. I didn’t appreciate all of that as much as I should have as a kid. So now when there’s weather, I’m mindful of it. No matter what it is. Days of rain. Snow and freezing temperatures. One hundred degrees and humidity. I am going to fully experience what’s in front of me because I don’t want to miss out on a single bit of life, even one drop of rain.